Come lunchtime, Son#1 walked up the garden path with a small, scraggly cat trailing behind him.
I think it was sheer desperation, a loud 'Help Me' in cat-lingo, as I've never seen such a scrawny, sad little creature with a faded black coat, dandruff and protruding ribs and hips.
I got in the car, left Things #1 and #2 with the cat, and #3 and I bought cat food.
The cat, whom we christened Dennis, a girl, only looked at the water and sniffed at the food, and spent the better part of the boys' lunch hour walking up and down restlessly.
I phoned the vet, and Son#3 and I took Dennis there in a box.
She is utterly emaciated, walks with a 'stagger', is a flea nest and wasn't chipped.
She could be anybody's cat.
We left Dennis there, and Son#3 and I cried all the way home.
The vets will have a look at her, then she'll be sent to the animal shelter.
It breaks my heart, and will break Son#1 and #2's hearts too, but we can't keep her.
I wish we could, but we can't.